Cringely's article (at least this one) is entertaining (if you can consider massive waste a form of entertainment). I've seen similar things and can attest that you can make a marginal living collecting/buying, repairing and reselling those throwaway technologies. (You've seen the used bicycle repair shop downtown right?) Google should consider allowing volunteer techs from a local charity to cart them out and Frankenstein them. Heck, it'd probably make a decent tax write-off.
Nowadays, my wife looks at me cross-eyed when I object to her suggestion of getting rid of her old computer when we upgrade. During my teenage years, we kept out POS cars running by scavenging off of same model junkers in the local junk yard. I just know that computer will make a good mail/file server.